The chickens are coming home to roost…

posersThis week I have read outstanding articles from both Alan Creedy ( and Ryan Thogmartin ( regarding the funeral industry and continuing myopic practices.  What fascinates me the most is that due to the medium of internet and social media, the exposure of “posers” and as Alan eloquently pointed out “guilds” continue.

Posers (a person who poses, especially a person who is trendy or fashionable in a superficial way) and guilds (a medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power) are beginning to scurry for cover like roaches when a light turns on in a dark room.  The funeral industry is wrought with “experts” providing advice with little to no experienced platform to stand and being propped up by those that are fiercely resisting change.  If this sounds familiar, take a look at our government in Washington and lobbyists for a similar analogy.

Social media and the internet are allowing for voices to be heard that were not provided a platform by the “ruling entities” of the funeral profession.  A grand example is Alan and Ryan’s articles…I suspect neither will be published in most funeral association magazines.  As the consumers we serve continue to educate themselves about the funeral industry, pricing, services and the like, they ultimately will force the necessary changes of endless outdated practices.  Much like in the early 90’s, consumers and the internet totally changed the travel agency industry.

So for those in our industry that continue to refuse engage, enlighten and provide positive changes, as the old saying goes “the chickens are coming home to roost.” Cheers y’all.

  1. Deborah said:

    Just wanted to say that I am really enjoying your posts, Jeff. As a former funeral arranger and a current pre-need sales person, I find it crazy to find ‘the good ol’ boy’ network alive and well in the funeral industry. I am an advocate for change in that respect and find that there are many like me out there. Have you looked into the Death Cafe’ movement? It’s something that started in England and is now springing up all over the U.S. The aim is to “normalize” death by bringing it out of the closet. We are very backwards in the Western world when it comes to how we view and deal with death. In my opinion, it’s about time to bring ourselves into the 21st century. Yes?


  2. Jeff Harbeson said:


    thank you for such kind words and encouragement! I just get tired of the old heads and want to challenge others to make changes…for the good and have the courage to do so! Tell me about your sales…where are you operating?



  3. Deborah said:

    I’m working in the Sacramento, CA area. (based in Auburn, which is NE of Sac) The main focus of my career has actually been counseling and I have found the connection between living life with purpose and dying a good death. Along with co-facilitating Death Cafe Auburn and building the business to prepare for a good financial end of life, I also facilitate Living with Loss groups and have created a workshop entitled, “Dying Well in the Western World”. I do believe that our own death it is the most spiritual experience that we will ever have the opportunity to be involved with. It behooves us to live life with purpose; prepare emotionally, spiritually, and physically for our death; and be as involved as we are able to be with having a great end of life experience. The more passionate I get about this topic, the more I realize that there are others out there that are thinking along these lines too. Deborah


  4. The nice thing about social media is that it’s so egalitarian. For example, news has escaped the “gatekeepers” that once decided who and what would become news. Now anyone with a cell phone can report on a story and take photos and video. Of course, not anyone can just go out and become a funeral director thanks to social media, but social media allows more voices to be heard. The elites of the funeral industry are no longer in complete control of information.


  5. Jeff Harbeson said:

    Thank you for letting me know about the wonderful work that you are doing! Please let me know how I may be of assistance in your efforts….have you taken a look at the MourningCross> This may be a perfect fit as a symbol of grief for your participants…



  6. Deborah said:

    Thanks for your suggestions and support, Jeff!


  7. Jeff Harbeson said:


    Agreed! Thank you for following and sharing your voice…we have much work to do and I am glad to be aligned in thoughts with you!



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